Rods contribute to the light-induced phase shift of the retinal clock in mammals

PLoS Biol. 2019 Mar 1;17(3):e2006211. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2006211. eCollection 2019 Mar.

Abstract

While rods, cones, and intrinsically photosensitive melanopsin-containing ganglion cells (ipRGCs) all drive light entrainment of the master circadian pacemaker of the suprachiasmatic nucleus, recent studies have proposed that entrainment of the mouse retinal clock is exclusively mediated by a UV-sensitive photopigment, neuropsin (OPN5). Here, we report that the retinal circadian clock can be phase shifted by short duration and relatively low-irradiance monochromatic light in the visible part of the spectrum, up to 520 nm. Phase shifts exhibit a classical photon dose-response curve. Comparing the response of mouse models that specifically lack middle-wavelength (MW) cones, melanopsin, and/or rods, we found that only the absence of rods prevented light-induced phase shifts of the retinal clock, whereas light-induced phase shifts of locomotor activity are normal. In a "rod-only" mouse model, phase shifting response of the retinal clock to light is conserved. At shorter UV wavelengths, our results also reveal additional recruitment of short-wavelength (SW) cones and/or OPN5. These findings suggest a primary role of rod photoreceptors in the light response of the retinal clock in mammals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Circadian Clocks / physiology
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Female
  • Light*
  • Male
  • Mammals
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Opsins / genetics
  • Opsins / metabolism*
  • Retina / cytology*
  • Retina / metabolism*
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / cytology
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Temperature

Substances

  • Membrane Proteins
  • OPN5 protein, mouse
  • Opsins

Grant support

Rhône-Alpes CMIRA https://www.auvergnerhonealpes.fr/ (grant number R15164CC). Received by O. Dkhissi-Benyahya. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. USIAS www.usias.fr/ (grant number 2013 - 90). Received by M.P Felder-Schmittbuhl and O. Dkhissi-Benyahya. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. ANR- Light-Clocks www.agence-nationale-recherche.fr/ (grant number ANR-18-CE16-0016-01). Received by O.Dkhissi-Benyahya and M.P Felder-Schmittbuhl. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.